While working in NYC, I discovered this little gem of a health bar, D’Vida, hidden inside the Credit Suisse building in the Flatiron District. One of my favorite morning treats was to stop into D’Vida for a green juice and one of their breakfast bars – The Grassroots Bar.
Their breakfast bars were by no means considered “healthy,” but half a bar paired with juice was the perfect balance for breakfast. I loved these bars, they were buttery (yeah, I said buttery) and sweetened with a hefty amount of brown sugar. They were also balanced (sorta) – with oatmeal, zucchini, carrots, and raisins. I loved these bars, so much so, that I was very specific about which bar I chose from the case: it had to be a bar without corners and cut from the middle of the pan, relatively large compared to the others (since I was only eating half that day), and the most “square-like” I could find.
I begged the D’Vida employees to divulge the name of the bakery that made their bars, but no matter whom I asked, I was told the bars were made exclusively for D’Vida and the bakery would NOT be revealed. Determined to recreate the bars at home, I hunted down Grassroots Bar recipes online. After the trial and FAIL of multiple recipes, I knew the only way to have these bars at home would be through some experimental baking on my own.
Luckily for me, D’Vida oh, so nicely provides the nutritional information for all of their baked goods, including the complete ingredient list! On one of my final mornings in NYC, I stopped into D’Vida, order my usual, and requested to see the nutritional information for the Grassroots Bar. With a few quick snaps of my phone, I had the complete list of ingredients and just for good measure, I snapped a pic of my favorite juice combo, too – The Glow.
After settling into life in Austin, I began my experimental baking: Mission Grassroots. Luckily for me, the experimental phase only lasted 3 rounds. On the third trial, I successfully recreated a Grassroots bar that satisfied my craving for D’Vida’s original and even healthified the bar some in the process.
Yes, these bars have zucchini & carrots baked into them but if M<3 loves them – and by love, I mean eats them on an almost daily basis as his pre-gym, morning snack – then they’re good – because this boy hates vegetables.
(Adapted from D’Vida)
- 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup shredded zucchini, drained*
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots, drained*
- 1/3 cup raisins, craisins, or dried tart cherries (or mixture)
*After shredding, place the zucchini and carrots in a few paper or dish towels and press out all liquid. Once pressed, then measure a 1/2 cup of each. Pre-shredded or matchstick carrots can also be substituted and will not require pressing.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars. Once creamed, add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined. Gradually add in the flour-oats mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
Remove from mixer, and by hand, fold in the zucchini, carrots, and raisins.
Once combined, pour into a a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Allow bars to cool completely before slicing.
(Makes 24 bars)
And just in case you want to re-create my favorite Green Juice…
- 1 apple
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1-2 large stalks of kale
- 1 large handful spinach
- 1 small handful parsley
- 1 lemon, peeled
Place all ingredients into a juicer and juice. Pair with a Grassroots bar for a complete, well balanced breakfast!